According to Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), TRAI’s decision to not regulate over-the-top (OTT) communication services such as WhatsApp and Skype will continue to hurt telecom operators already burdened with a strict regulatory and licensing framework.

Earlier this week, TRAI had recommended forbearance policy for internet communication service providers, saying that the issues related to economics and privacy/security do not need any regulatory intervention as of now.

As per COAI, without proper resolution of pressing issues like similarity and substitutability of TSPs and OTT communication services, regulatory imbalance and non-level playing field between TSPs and OTT service providers, telcos will continue to be at a disadvantage in comparison with OTT service providers.